Letter to the Editor: Grad School, Deja vu, & 9/11


Thembi Scott

I pause on this Sept. 11 — just as I did 21 years ago while tearily watching the devastation showing on television. My reason for reflection has to do with the incredible contrast of my life those 20 years ago in Cambridge to now here in Boone. Then, I was a fresh, young graduate student from Maryland. Checking into the 19th century graduate dormitory at Harvard had been a very routine experience for me. I watched Sept. 11 go down amongst a maze in my room of cardboard boxes stuffed with clothes, books and childhood memorabilia that didn’t seem to matter so much anymore.

I remember eating at the Windows on the World restaurant inside of the World Trade Center when I was a child visiting my grandmother in her beloved city. Looking out over the skyline was a surreal experience that trumped the exquisite ambiance of the cheerful restaurant with its expensive main menu (veal and Coke for me) and important clientele. The restaurant was permanently destroyed on Sept. 11 as all staff members present were killed, over 140 people including contractors and guests of the restaurant.

Now that I’m again enrolled in graduate school, I celebrate the fact that more than only native New Yorkers survived a cowardly act of hatred that day. I survived, and so did everyone here at Appalachian State University. Let’s keep making that up!

Thembi Scott, 1st Year Graduate Student